ESG Integration Forum – Summer
Interactive, virtual forum

Thursday, July 15, 2021


About the forum

Telling your ESG story in a virtual environment!

Following on from the success of our previous ESG Integration Forums, Corporate Secretary and IR Magazine will be back again this summer to discuss the outcomes of the proxy season and help companies respond to the growing demand for improved ESG practices.

We will bring together investor relations, finance, sustainability, governance, risk and compliance experts all under one ‘roof’ on our virtual event platform to discuss the underlying factors that have driven the rise of ESG, learn about investor expectations, deepen
shareholder engagement, help companies identify and act on material risks, and better manage shareholder proposals in the ‘new normal’.

A far cry from a traditional webinar format, the event will feature virtual roundtable discussions, live chat with attendees, one-on-one video chats and extensive networking. The panel discussions will be followed by a live Q&A with the audience.


Due to current restrictions, the event will take place as a virtual experience using our bespoke, cutting-edge technology.

Our virtual event platform closely replicates attending in-person by facilitating interaction with speakers, one-to-one networking with fellow IR and governance professionals, and group roundtable discussions. Going virtual helps you connect with a wider network from the comfort of your desk.


Holders of the NIRI IRC® credential can earn up to 4 professional development units (PDUs) per day. IRC-credentialed speakers may also earn PDUs. More information is available at


The 2021 agenda will be announced shortly.

In the meantime, you can view what was discussed in 2020 below or by clicking here.

  • 09:00 AM
    Welcome to our ESG Integration Forum – Summer edition

    Laurie Havelock, editor-at-large, IR Magazine

  • 09:15 AM
    What does Covid-19 mean for ESG and long-termism: is ESG a luxury of a long bull run?

    • Trend check: What is the impact of Covid-19 on ESG in 2020?
    • How is the pandemic influencing the way investors are looking at and thinking about ESG?
    • With the ESG landscape rapidly evolving, what should corporates be focused on?
    • Impact on shareholder commitment to sustainability issues such as climate change
    • Does investor focus on human capital management reduce focus on sustainability issues?

    Jessica McDougall, vice president, investment stewardship and corporate governance, BlackRock
    Dottie Schindlinger, executive director, Diligent Institute
    Ariel Smilowitz, analyst, investment stewardship, BlackRock
    Moderator: Laurie Havelock, editor-at-large, IR Magazine

  • 10:00 AM
    Outcomes of proxy season: Which ESG proposals received widespread support?

    • Trend check, risks and opportunities: Lessons from 2020
    • How are certain sectors responding to climate related shareholder proposals?
    • What were the major ESG-related proxy disclosure trends?
    • How much focus or change has been placed on CEO compensation this proxy season?
    • What are the considerations for boards and companies following the outcomes of this proxy season?
    • Will proposals ultimately affect change, even if the resolutions failed?
    • What is the impact of ESG proposals? Did ESG investors side with management?

    Alexandra Higgins, managing director, Okapi Partners
    Ron Schneider, director of corporate governance services, Donnelley Financial Solutions (DFIN)
    Moderator: Laurie Havelock, editor-at-large, IR Magazine

  • 10:45 AM
    Breakout sessions and networking

    There will be two breakout sessions taking place concurrently. Participants can choose to attend either session:

    • Why is ESG material? An experienced board director’s view on enterprise risk management – Joyce Cacho, president, Adinura Advisory Services
    • Evolving expectations on corporate climate lobbying: Ceres blueprint to responsible policy engagement on climate change – Veena Ramani, senior program director, capital market systems, Ceres
  • 11:15 AM
    A debate for and against: Reforming shareholder proposal thresholds

    In November 2019, the SEC voted in favor of proposed amendments to rule 14a-8, which governs the shareholder proposals that make it onto the ballot. The proposal has proved controversial with thousands of comment letters submitted during the comment period – in particular around the changes being made to shareholder proposal resubmission thresholds and to ownership thresholds. During this session, we’ll explore arguments for and against the suggested changes and its potential impact.

    Andrew Behar, CEO, As You Sow
    Patrick Foley, securities counsel, General Motors
    Arielle Katzman, associate, Shearman & Sterling
    Moderator: Ben Ashwell, editor, IR Magazine

  • 12:00 PM
    Telling your ESG story in a virtual environment

    • Developing an integrated approach around investor expectations in the pandemic
    • Communicating ESG efforts effectively to investors – virtually and in the current context
    • Off season engagement and ESG roadshows
    • Effectively telling the long-term story to deepen shareholder engagement
    • Weaving purpose, vision and value into your ESG narrative and other best practice tips
    • Prioritizing the most important communications channels to tell an impactful ESG story
    • Examples of ESG best practices in the virtual world – adapting the message well
    • Formulating next steps and making the most of the company’s resources

    Evan Barth, general counsel, IBM
    Maureen Wolff, CEO, Sharon Merrill
    Brian Tomlinson, director of research, CEO investor forum, CECP
    Moderator: Laurie Havelock, editor-at-large, IR Magazine

  • 13:00 PM
    Breakout sessions and networking

    There will be two breakout sessions taking place concurrently. Participants can choose to attend either session:

    • ESG and shareholder engagement: A discussion about how investors communicate ESG expectations through engagement: Alexandra Higgins, managing director, Okapi Partners
  • 13:30 PM
    Regulations, ratings and reporting: A look at best practices

    • As E, S & G issues continue to expand, what is the impact on future reporting/rating systems?
    • Does the current system of disclosure favor large caps? What can be done to reduce the gap?
    • Will ESG frameworks converge to one system in the next decade or grow with new players?
    • How to balance the deck across sectors in terms of standards applied for ESG ratings?
    • How can IR and governance teams develop investor-facing ESG reports that perform well with ratings agencies?

    Ben Kruse, director – global ESG reporting and insights, CSR, AT&T
    Nicolai Lundy, director of partnerships and market outreach, SASB
    Huub Savelkouls, chief sustainability officer, Philip Morris International
    Janice Warren, managing director, head of ESG reporting solutions, Nasdaq
    Moderator: Ben Ashwell, editor, IR Magazine

  • 14:30 PM
    Developing an ESG program during a pandemic and building support internally

    • How should a company go about launching or improving their ESG strategy and disclosure?
    • What can you do to drive your sustainability agenda amidst all the noise around Covid-19?
    • First-time ESG program and reporting best practices: first steps, process and tips
    • Opportunities, risks and challenges for small corporations launching ESG programs
    • What to prioritize to make sure you get the most positive impact from governance firms?
    • Pros and cons of engaging a third-party ESG consultant vs. handling ESG priorities internally

    Yonni Fushman, executive VP, chief legal officer and secretary, Aecon Group
    Karen Keyes, senior investor relations professional
    Sean Wilson, chief administrative officer & corporate secretary, Gibson Energy
    Moderator: Ben Ashwell, editor, IR Magazine

  • 15:15 PM
    Summary and wrap up

  • 15:30 PM
    End of event

Previous Speakers

To inquire about speaking at the forum, please contact [email protected] or call +44 20 3865 8103

What our virtual attendees say

"The topics were great the platform worked really well too."


"Really strong and articulate line-up of panelists. Easy access to link to event and to ask questions. I really enjoyed the session and looking forward to the event in October. I thought the topics were timely and appropriate."

ESG Verification

"I liked the variety of participants"

Toll Brothers

" Very topical subject. Highly knowledgeable speakers. Platform has become stable and reliable."


"Knowledgeable panels. Productive discussion. Easy participation. Visibility and up-voting of questions."

GCs Counsel

"Great selection of panelists. I thought the platform was very user friendly."

Murphy USA

"Relevant content and solid speaker line-up"

Aecon Group

"I have been to a lot of these events and I have found the conversations to be richer and more insightful than many of the bigger panels - probably due to good moderation and good panelists. I was also impressed by how seamless the virtual format was. "


"Hopin was a great platform - the 4 speakers in view really made it seem like they were sitting on a stage."


"The content was fantastic"


Who attends our virtual events

Our attendees are leading IR and GRC practitioners with an established track record and strategic role within their company.

Below is a sample of some of our past virtual attendees:

Job title Company Job title Company
Account associate, investor relations W2O Group Investor relations FIS
Associate financial analyst Moody’s Investor relations – manager Pentair
Chief corporate affairs officer Vanda Pharmaceuticals Manager, corporate communications & reporting Brown-Forman Corporation
Chief counsel & corporate secretary Cantor Fitzgerald Manager, corporate ESG program Schnitzer Steel Industries
Chief financial officer Invitae Corporation Manager, ESG Estee Lauder
Director FS KKR Capital Corp Manager, investor relations ANSYS
Director Stifel Manager, investor relations Esperion
Director – global CSR reporting & insights AT&T Managing director and head investment stewardship BlackRock
Director of investor relations FMC Corporation Senior director marketing Broadridge
Director of investor relations Terex Corporation Senior manager PwC
Director of social impact & sustainability Philip Morris Senior manager, community relations and public affairs Adtalem Global Education
Director sustainability reporting Newmont Senior manager, investor relations Aptiv
Director, emerging issues Eastman Senior manager, sustainability General Motors
Director, enterprise sustainability program Medtronic Specialist, governance Cameco Corporation
Director, investor relations Criteo Sr director, IR & corporate responsibility Incyte Corporation
Director, investor relations Discovery Sr director, IR & performance analytics Killam Apartment REIT
Director, sustainability communications ConocoPhillips Strategic director ANPORT Communications
ESG consultant RPS SVP, culture, CSR & ESG Viacom
Executive vice president, retirement strategies Natixis Vice president assistant general counsel US Bank
Head of business development for sustainability Bloomberg Vice president, investor relations & corporate treasurer Glatfelter
Head of corporate responsibility, diversity & inclusion Amdocs VP Zuylestein
Head, investor relations & director of corporate strategy TCF Financial Corporation VP, investor relations Tradeweb Markets
Head, product and service innovation TMX Group VP, investor relations Vistra Energy
Innovation and ESG consultant Halma VP, investor relations WW International
Investor relations IR Impact VP, investor relations & communications Murphy Oil


Request full past attendee list

Become a partner

Why partner with us?

The ESG Integration Forum – Summer brings together some of the most influential people in the IR and GRC communities.

The event offers an effective approach to targeting clients when they are exploring how they can improve their IR and GRC practice. Through our unrivalled knowledge of the subject matters and commitment to in-depth agenda research, our events are guaranteed to attract a qualified audience.

The unique buzz we create at our virtual events – a far cry from a webinar – makes them multi-faceted and highly interactive with great engagement in particular from heads of IR and governance teams. This allows our partners to have meaningful conversations with corporates who are deciding which parts of their ESG program to invest in, which service providers to engage and consultants to retain. By partnering with us on an event, you can generate leads, showcase your thought leadership and position yourselves as the partner of choice to the IR and GRC communities.

We’d love to have a chat with you about how you can get in front of a truly engaged and motivated audience at the ESG Integration Forum – Summer. Get in touch with Taylor Ray or call on +1 212 430 6895.

In the last 12 months, IR Magazine and Corporate Secretary’s virtual events have attracted the highest, most diverse and senior attendees and experts in investor relations and governance


Book your place

This event is open to all investor relations, governance, risk and compliance professionals.

The super early bird rate expires on May 14, 2021. 

After this date the price will increase to the early bird rate of $95. The standard price booking price is $245.

If you have any questions, please contact Chloë Rutter at [email protected] or +44 20 3002 0396.

Contact us

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